If you’ve been injured in a DWI accident and you’re searching for a DWI lawyer, Bethesda MD can seem like an intimidating place to look. Finding a lawyer in this type of situation may seem incredibly difficult and stressful: not only must you focus on recovering, but you may also be struggling to stay financially stable.
At Cohen & Cohen, we know that our clients may be facing a very distressing time immediately after a collision. We also know how valuable it is to provide our clients with a top DWI lawyer Bethesda MD has to offer when they need dependable legal counsel the most.
Proving Fault and Liability in a DWI Accident Claim
Some people initially assume that if the other driver was intoxicated during the time of the crash, he/she is automatically held responsible for the accident. This actually isn’t the case in every single accident claim. While it’s true that an intoxicated driver is highly likely to held liable for causing a car accident, there may still be some responsibility on behalf of the injured party to prove fault.
In cases where alcohol is a factor, it’s important to have concrete evidence showing that the other driver was intoxicated. This is typically proven through a chemical BAC (blood alcohol concentration) test, such as a blood test or a urine test. These chemical tests may also test for other controlled substances, such as prescription drugs or illegal drugs, which may have hindered the driver’s ability to control a motor vehicle. This is the type of information that your Bethesda MD DWI lawyer would likely look for at the beginning of an accident injury claim or lawsuit. Additional evidence might be pulled from police reports immediately following the accident. Witnesses may be able to testify or provide photographic evidence that may further provide proof regarding the driver’s cognitive state.
It is not always easy to prove that a driver was truly intoxicated or under the influence of a drug during a crash, as an experienced DWI lawyer Bethesda MD can supply might explain. Each state, including Maryland, considers the legal level of intoxication to be .08% BAC. However, this percentage of alcohol in the body can affect each person differently. Some people become intoxicated at a lower percentage of alcohol consumption while others have a far higher tolerance level and can still perform basic cognitive functions at .08%.
If there is no concrete evidence regarding the driver’s state of intoxication — for example, if the driver was not given a chemical BAC test for some reason — it can be incredibly difficult to prove in a court of law that this person was driving while intoxicated. Unfortunately, this type of situation might occur and it could present serious problems for anyone who was injured in the accident. This is just one situation where it may be invaluable to obtain legal counsel from a DWI lawyer Bethesda MD drivers know and trust while pursuing financial damages.
Fault in Car Accidents
There are four main elements that determine fault in any car accident case, including accidents where alcohol is involved. These elements are:
- Duty: Drivers have a certain legal duty to operate their vehicle carefully on the road.
- Breach of duty: A specific driver failed to operate his or her vehicle carefully and failed to abide by all traffic laws.
- Causation of an accident: This lack of care and failure to follow traffic laws directly led to an accident.
- Injury caused by the accident: The accident directly caused harm to another driver, passenger, or pedestrian on the road who was abiding by traffic laws.
These four elements would likely still be important in accidents that involve alcohol, and it might be even easier for a DWI lawyer Bethesda MD can produce to prove fault when a driver was definitely intoxicated. Inhibition caused by drugs or alcohol is often called “negligence” in a legal setting, and negligence in this case might be considered a legal breach of duty. Even when a driver did not have .08% BAC at the time of the accident, driving with a lesser amount of alcohol in his/her system might still be considered negligence.
The tricky part about DWI accident cases and injury claims is that the other driver might not be found guilty of DWI in criminal court. This might not make it impossible to obtain financial compensation through an insurance claim or through a civil suit, but it could potentially make it more difficult. If you believe that your own claim might be tied up because of laws or insurance regulations regarding DWI accidents, it may be advantageous to speak with a DWI lawyer Bethesda MD residents truly deserve. Insurance claims can often be much simpler than court cases for personal injuries, but they are not necessarily easier to handle if you are recovering from a severe injury.
Contact a DWI Lawyer Bethesda MD Drivers Can Depend On
It’s important to know that there’s a local DWI lawyer in Bethesda MD you can turn to when you need legal counsel after an accident. At Cohen & Cohen, our legal team is dedicated to serving the local community of Bethesda. If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver on the roads of Maryland, our team may be able to help you get the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Our firm has served countless Maryland residents who sustained injuries during accidents, and we’re happy to discuss your case in person if you believe that you may have a valid personal injury claim as well. We offer free case evaluations with prospective clients who would like to receive legal counsel from a trusted local source. For more information about meeting with a top DWI lawyer Bethesda MD can provide, contact Cohen & Cohen today by calling 301-250-1957 or by filling out a short form on our website.